ArcGIS Reality mapping product generation

Available with Standard or Advanced license.

Available for an ArcGIS organization with the ArcGIS Reality license.

ArcGIS Reality for ArcGIS Pro enables you to generate various types of 2D and 3D products from drone, digital aerial, satellite, and scanned aerial photography. The product types that can be generated depend on the workspace type created, either Reality mapping or Ortho mapping.

Ortho mapping workspace

With an Ortho mapping workspace, you can generate the following 2D products using the product wizard once adjustment is completed:

  • Digital terrain model (DTM)
  • Digital surface model (DSM)
  • Orthomosaic

The Multiple Products wizard enables you to generate all or a subset of the products in a single process.


The Ortho mapping workspace does not support the generation of 3D products.

Reality mapping workspace

Using the Reality mapping workspace, you can generate the following 2D and 3D products using the product wizard once adjustment is completed:

  • Digital surface model (DSM)
  • True Ortho
  • DSM Mesh
  • Point Cloud
  • 3D Mesh

The Multiple Products wizard allows you to generate all or any subset of the products in a single process.

Reality mapping product generation

Product generation best practices

Product generation using ArcGIS Reality for ArcGIS Pro is resource intensive. To optimize performance and reduce processing duration, the following best practices are recommended.

  • Use a dedicated local or cloud compute system—not a shared resource—that has a current CPU, above-average GPU, sufficient solid-state disk (SSD) storage, and at least 64 GB RAM to support product generation in a timely manner. For example, use a CPU with 3.0 GHz, or higher, clock speed per core, and a Nvidia RTX GPU. For additional information on system requirements, see Introduction to the ArcGIS Reality for ArcGIS Pro extension.
  • Following project creation, set up the processing environment in ArcGIS Pro by defining CPU and GPU parameters, including the following:
    • Setting Parallel processing factor to 85%.
    • Setting Processor Type to GPU, if available. CPU is the default.

      The environments settings can be accessed by clicking the Analysis tab on the ArcGIS Pro ribbon, then Environments in the Geoprocessing group.

  • When your digital aerial imagery is comprised of both nadir and oblique data, consider the following before processing:
    • Use only the nadir imagery when creating DSM, True Ortho, and DSM products. Including oblique imagery will adversely impact processing time.
    • Use both nadir and oblique imagery when generating point cloud and 3D mesh products.
  • If creating a DSM mesh from satellite imagery, color balancing is required prior to product generation. See Color Balance Mosaic Dataset for more information.
  • When you create a DSM using satellite imagery, the default vertical coordinate system (VCS) of the output DSM is WGS84 (ellipsoidal height). If you need to convert the output to a different projection or coordinate system, use the Project tool.
  • It is recommended that the panchromatic band—not a pansharpened image—be used for generating a DSM. This is to ensure that data with the highest pixel quality is used to support image correlation and the DSM generation process.
  • Constrain product generation to the area of interest only by defining a product boundary in the Advanced Product Settings pane.
  • Prioritize product processing. If both 2D and 3D products are required, create 2D products first since 3D products require more processing time.

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